Teammate of Duke basketball alum says he’s on track to be best ever

Former Duke basketball star Jayson Tatum makes a layup for the Boston Celtics. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Former Duke basketball star Jayson Tatum makes a layup for the Boston Celtics. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

Marcus Smart, the current teammate of former Duke basketball star Jayson Tatum, said he’s on track to be one of the best players ever.

Praise from your peers is the best praise you can get as a professional athlete, and Jayson Tatum got the ultimate compliment from his teammate Marcus Smart.

During the Boston Celtics’ media availability on Tuesday afternoon following one of their organized team workouts, Smart was asked a question about Tatum and his quick ascent as one of the rising young stars in the NBA.

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The former Oklahoma State star didn’t hold anything back when answering about the All-Star and the potential he is currently showing with the Celtics.

“I think that he’s on the right track to becoming if not the best player, one of the best players to ever [play] this game,” Smart said.

Jayson Tatum was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft after the Celtics traded back from the No. 1 overall slot to select the Duke forward, gathering a handful of assets from its Eastern Conference rival Philadelphia 76ers in the process.

After leading a shorthanded Boston squad to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals in his rookie season, Tatum only progressed and developed his game into his first All-Star Game appearance this winter.

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Prior to the suspension of the NBA season, the former Blue Devil was averaging 23.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.4 steals, and 0.9 blocks per game, all of which are career highs.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported over a month ago that Boston will “most likely” offer the former Duke star a max contract this offseason as the Celtics exercised their team option in 2019 and 2020 for Jayson Tatum.

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Tatum has the ability to become a restricted free agent in 2021.

Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics departed for Orlando, Florida on Wednesday as the NBA will resume its season on July 30 at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex, inside Walt Disney World.

Boston currently holds a 43-21 record and are 9.5 games behind the Milwaukee Bucks for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, but 3.5 games behind the Toronto Raptors for the No. 2 seed and the same amount of games up on the No. 4 seed Miami Heat.